A report on a four-year longitudinal study of intellectual development of engineering undergraduates

John C. Wise, Sang Ha Lee, Thomas Litzinger, Rose M. Marra, Betsy Palmer

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52 Scopus citations


As part of an investigation into the effects of curricular reforms in the undergraduate program in the College of Engineering, a series of Perry-style interviews were conducted over a 4-year period. The study was undertaken in an attempt to assess the impact of collaborative design-based engineering courses that were being implemented. Students who completed the collaborative design course in their first year were higher on the Perry scale than their peers who did not. However, this effect was not sustained through the rest of the curriculum, as more traditional courses dominated. No statistically significant change in Perry position was observed for students in their 1st and 3rd years; however, a growth of approximately one Perry position was observed between the 3rd and 4th years. The relationship of current curricula to this pattern of intellectual development is discussed, and arguments for altering the curriculum to support intellectual development are made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adult Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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